The nine indispensable gadgets you need for your travels
We take a look at the latest tech to take on your trips: the Sony WH-1000XM2 headphones, the LifePowr A2 L portable battery and the PowerCube ReWirable USB
Are you a jet-setting executive or occasional traveller itching to see the world? Whether you are looking to numb the travails of frequent travel, or just looking for a more comfortable and enjoyable trip – we have you covered. Here is our list of indispensable gadgets that you may want to check out before you next board a plane.
It’s barely a year since Sony released its 1000X headphones to some acclaim, and the new WH-1000XM2 is now available. Under the hood, the improved model retains Sony’s self-developed noise-cancelling technology and unique “Sense Engine” system that adapts to the ears of the beleaguered traveller. The latter however, is beefed up with a new atmospheric pressure that adjusts the headphones not just to your physical characteristics, but also to the current altitude.
Elsewhere, the number of physical buttons has been trimmed to two, though a clever blend of short and long presses lets you toggle through core features. The touch sensor on the right earcup is still there, and is used for tasks siuh as skipping tracks or adjusting the volume.
LifePowr A2 L
Ever stuck in a situation where you just couldn’t find a wall outlet to recharge your rapidly depleting laptop? Back-to-back meetings or sightseeing tours, the LifePowr A2 L is a 27,000 mAh portable battery that lets you recharge your laptop and other gadgets using their wall chargers. Because it sports a built-in AC plug, you can also bring it on camping trips and plug in other mains-powered devices of up to 100 watts. The lithium-ion battery packs 99.9 watt hours of juice, and is labelled as such so that you can pass through customs on the mainland without having it confiscated.
Xiaomi Mi Power Bank QC 3.0 Pro
A flat smartphone at an inopportune time can result in precious holiday photos not being snapped. The compact Xiaomi’s Mi Power Bank QC 3.0 Pro battery ensures that this doesn’t happen with its ample 10,000mAh capacity. Aside from the ability to recharge fully in just 3½ hours, the most advanced Mi Power Bank that money can buy is appealing for its ability to charge a wide range of devices at above normal speed.
This can be attributed to the various quick charge standards that it supports, which we tested successfully on various Qualcomm “Quick Charge” and Huawei “Fast Charge” smartphones.
Kensington MicroSaver retractable lock
From the same company that brought you the Kensington lock slot found on practically every laptop out there, the MicroSaver retractable lock gives travellers an additional layer of security for their easy-to-steal laptops. The MicroSaver addresses the common problem of laptop locks not being used because they are too cumbersome with a unique built-in cable management system. The system retracts the cut-resistant steel cable quickly and easily into the lock’s compact body, leaving no loose ends or mess in your laptop bag.
PowerCube ReWirable USB
This ingenious power adaptor will make you wonder why you ever settled for a traditional travel adaptor. The removable main plug means that you can use it as a travel adaptor by simply swapping in the appropriate adaptor tip that matches those used at your destination. Unlike a travel adaptor, the PowerCube ReWirable is also a compact extension plug that lets you wire up to four devices to one wall outlet – which means you no longer have to bring multiple travel adaptor, either.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
If you dread returning to quiet hotel rooms, then the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom speakers is exactly what the doctor ordered. Despite being the size of a large coffee mug, the compact Wonderboom packs a loud punch that will help keep the silence at bay. It is rugged too, and is fronted by a tough mesh-like material and soft rubber finish along the top and bottom. As a bonus, the Wonderboom is waterproof and will float on water, which means you can bring it along with you to the pool, too.
While the uHoo Air probably wasn’t designed for travel, it is the perfect gadget to warn you against bad air in hotel rooms. Particularly for those sensitive to pollutants, the uHoo Air may help save your holiday before you suffer a bad reaction to poor air quality.
The lightweight device is powered by micro-USB, and packs eight discrete sensors to quickly identify a host of air quality indicators. Among others, it scans for the presence of ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOC), PM2.5 particles, carbon dioxide and even carbon monoxide – if travelling to temperate regions where rooms may be powered by gas heaters. And yes, the uHoo Air is created by two co-founders who are each based in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Jabra Elite Sport
Arguably the most advanced wireless sports earbuds on the market, the Jabra Elite Sport is the ideal companion for combating jet lag when travelling across time zones. A stint at the hotel gym is always a great way to help you sleep better, or help jump-start your day.
The waterproof Elite Sport not only delivers superior quality music to keep the groove on, but also incorporates a built-in heart rate monitor to track and analyse your fitness on the companion smartphone app. Expect three hours of battery life per charge, though the included charging case holds two additional charges.
Waterfield Air Porter Bag
This carry-on bag is designed specifically for bringing your gadgets on the plane. The compact bag goes under the seat in front of you, and is designed to fit even if there is a support strut in the way. It also comes with a separate Air Caddy bag that slides into the back-seat pocket to keep your smaller knick-knacks accessible for long flights.
The main bag comes with two main compartments for your laptop and tablet, as well as ample pockets – way more than the average Waterfield bag. The long list of thoughtful features includes external pockets for a water bottle and umbrella that fold close when not in use, cable cut-outs for charging your laptop without taking it out, and water-resistant lining and waterproof exterior zippers makes this a must-have for your travel.